Tai'an - Start of the climb up Tai Shan
Tai'an is located to the south of the Shandong provincial capital of Jinan and of Mount Tai, better known as Tai Shan, one of the "Five Sacred Mountains" of Taoism. The mountain is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded the foremost of the five. The temples on its slopes have been a destination for pilgrims for 3,000 years, one of which, known as Jade Emperor Temple, is at the mountains summit at 1532 metres (5028 ft). Pilgrims embark on their journey from the Dai Temple in the centre of Tai'an, up the mountain via a series of over 6,500 arduous steps past 22 temples, 11 gates, 14 archways, 14 kiosks, 4 pavilions, 819 stone tablets, and 1,018 cliff-side and stone inscriptions. There's very little to see in the city itself other than visit the beautiful Dai Temple complex but the main reason to visit here is Tai Shan and recover from the climb in your hotel in the city!